It’s that time of year again!

hurricane
Prepare yourself in case of a natural disaster.

If you are reading this and live in Florida, then you are very much aware that on June 1, we officially will kick-off the 2019 Hurricane Season. According to The Weather Channel the 2019 Hurricane Season  is expected to slightly above average. While they can predict (tounge-in-cheek) the amount of hurricanes that will dance around the Atlantic, what they are unable to predict with 100% certanitiy is where will a storm make landfall,

Are you prepared or are you making preparations in the unlikely case that a storm dances your way? From natural disasters like hurricanes to common issues such as robbery and hardware failures, your business may be particularly vulnerable during a time of crisis.  While a catastrophic disaster may easily destroy a business in seconds, most business owners are unprepared for even common events, such as flooding or fires.  Ensuring that your business is protected when an emergency strikes is a wise investment that is essential to the long term success of your company.

Disaster planning should be highly detailed, and business owners/managers should take extra time to review the plan to ensure they’re not forgetting important aspects of protecting their companies. A number of online disaster prep resources are available from federal and state government agencies, and some include checklists that will help owners/managers decide what they need to do.

The sites include:

Protect Your Employees

The most important measure a business owner can take during a time of crisis is to ensure the safety and wellbeing of the employees.  Your business should have an emergency plan that will provide protection for every employee, visitor and client in the event of a sudden calamity.   The emergency plan should make provisions for severe-weather sheltering, an evacuation or a lock-down in the event of an act of violence.  Having an emergency plan in place will not only help you keep yourself and your employees safe, but will enable your business to recover from a crisis more quickly.

Have A Plan

A second measure that you should take as a business owner to ensure the survival of the business through a natural disaster is to familiarize yourself with your insurance policies.  Review the fine print of your property insurance policy and your business interruption insurance.  Make sure your policies still provide sufficient coverage, especially if your business has experienced growth.  In addition to this, your business should also have an alternate work site and backup suppliers and vendors in the event that a natural disaster should affect the efficiency of your primary providers.

Back Up Important Data

Finally, having a digital backup of your company’s important data is essential in ensuring the survival of your business through a natural disaster.  All critical data, including accounting records, customer lists, inventory records and employee data, should be stored and maintained by an online backup service provider.  Ensuring that all of your critical company information has been scanned and is stored off-site is essential to your company’s ability to endure through a catastrophe such as a fire or a flood.

Conclusion

If your business does not have a contingency plan in place, create one today.  Preparing your employees and your business for a crisis is essential to ensuring that your business will survive a disaster.

Time Is Money

Electronic document management saves time, saves money and saves the environment. In today’s technology driven enfironment, an effective electronic document management solution should be an important part of every organization regardless of the industry.

As long as there are documents around, organizations will utilize all the ways to effectively manage them. In many industries, using paper files has become inefficient. The document management process has become digitized, making all documents immediately accessible to more than just a few people.

Securing paper files requires locked filing cabinets, sign-out sheets and security protocols to ensure the safety of documents. These methods proved not only ineffective, but time-consuming as well.

Another advantage of having an electronic document  management solution is more free space. All the space that file cabinets full of paper documents take up can be repurposed into more work space or allow the company the ability to downsize the office.

Stop Wasting Time Searching for Paper Documents

Paper-based work environments leads to workers losing six or more hours searching for documents every week. Whereas, those who work in digitally-based environments wasted virtually no time searching for documents.

According to PricewaterhouseCoopers, finding a lost document will cost a company $122 on average. It is also estimated that 7.5% of all company documents are lost completely. Let’s assume your company works with 10,000 documents – an extremely light figure. That would mean, about 750 of those documents are doomed to be lost, ultimately costing your company around $91,500. Plus, if you had to recreate any lost documents, the time and supplies involved would make that number jump well over the $100,000 mark.

Outsourcing Scanning? How to keep the cost low.

  • Be organized. Communicate to your scanning vendor how you access your files now. The lookup process can be made more efficient as the documents are digitized. The first conversation should be about finding documents and accessing the information you need in your documents once they’ve been scanned.
  • Make sure files are “index ready.” Make it easy for your vendor to find and identify the key indexing data inside the documents. If you’re not sure what this means for your particular records, this will be the second topic of conversation.
  • Sort your documents. You can pay the vendor to do record analysis for you, but typically you can do this step for less money.
  • Surrender the mess. Sometimes getting organized requires scanning everything first. In these complex cases, doing the imaging first may be the only answer. For example, if you have to touch every paper and do thousands of refiles before sending your records for scanning, it’s probably cheaper to do that work once the records are electronic.
  • Scan only current or active files. If you have to keep it for regulatory reasons, but likely don’t ever need to access the record, don’t scan it. We can store it for a lot less money. You just want to scan the documents you’re most likely to retrieve later.
  • Scan newest documents first. The newest docs are always the most active. By scanning them first, we save you the most labor. We may quickly reach a point where we realize we can stop scanning the historical records, as there have been NO requests for them.
  • Outsource when you lack the right equipment or skills. High-speed equipment and staff that’s experienced in records management can get the job done faster and for less money. Temps and college-aged relatives could drag the job out until the money is all gone or worse, render the whole effort useless if you can’t access the documents digitally later the way you hoped. It takes years of honing processes to get to the point of very low defects in imaging. We are already there. Save your bucks by outsourcing scanning.

Common Questions About Document Scanning

Why should we consider scanning our files?
There are several reasons businesses consider scanning their files; including:

  • Space; paper filing systems take up a considerable amount of office space, space that could be better used by productive employees.
  • Disaster Recovery Planning; no one likes to think about the worst case scenarios, but those who do are the ones who end up on top. Imagine a fire or flood happened in your office and you lost all your paper files tomorrow. What would that mean for your business? Scanned documents can easily be backed up and recovered from multiple locations with speed and ease.
  • Productivity; employees spend about 40% of their time looking for information they need to make decisions. Searching through paper files is, to say the least, time consuming and unproductive. With document scanning your staff can find the information they need in a matter of seconds.

Are scanned/digital documents legal?
Scanned documents are widely accepted throughout the legal system. However, we are not lawyers and we cannot give you legal advice. The only person who can truly answer this question for you is your legal counsel.

Why should we outsource our document scanning as opposed to doing it internally?
Document scanning in high volumes is an extremely laborious process. To be done properly you need people, lots of people! Aside from staff, you’ll also need high volume scanners to capture the documents, software systems for indexing and controls in place to QC the scanned documents to make sure everything meets the quality standards set forth by the organization. To achieve efficient throughput the capital required for the technology alone can easily exceed $50,000 not including the hiring, training and management of staff.

Companies who offer document scanning as a service have these elements in place and operate similar to a manufacturing assembly line, ensuring your work is done quickly and accurately; allowing you to focus on your core business.

If we outsource our document scanning, what should we look for from a security perspective?
If you decide to outsource your document scanning you should perform your due diligence early on in the process. You need to evaluate the vendor’s security and process to ensure it aligns with your expectations. A few examples of things to look for include:

  • Physical Security: Is the building physically secure or can people simply walk into production/paper handling areas? Are there cameras, window bars, secured doors and security escorts onsite?
  • Employee Security: Have all employees undergone a criminal background check? Have they received customized training on the security and protection of sensitive/private information?
  • Government Clearance: Look for companies with specialized government security clearances. These designations are not easy to obtain and it helps to identify companies who meet strict government security protocols.
  • Most Importantly: Do you feel comfortable with them? Is everything handled by their staff or are parts of your project outsourced to third parties?

How much will it cost to outsource our document scanning?
Now that’s a tricky one. While the heart of the document scanning process doesn’t change much, the output requirements of the clients certainly can. Elements such as document preparation, number of index fields, frequency of pick-up’s, etc. all play into the final price.

Reach out to a company that specializes in document scanning and converison for consultaion to see if the time is right for your organization to  outsource your document scanning and conversion processes.

Streamline your Business Processes using Document Management

Small businesses today are inundated with information—including content created internally as well as documents and files received from customers, partners and suppliers. Without an information management framework, time is wasted searching through file folders and various business systems for business-critical documents. This is often compounded by the proliferation of multiple versions of the same file, which results in errors and repeated work.

When it comes to managing vast amounts of information—such as proposals, plans and contracts, product and inventory catalogues, order forms, invoices and receipts, building plans, support tickets and personnel records— small businesses simply cannot operate at maximum efficiency without the ability to easily search, share and protect their critical files and documents.

In addition to the sheer volume of files being produced by a variety of sources, today’s “content chaos” challenge is further compounded by the fact that the data typically resides across an increasingly complex landscape of applications, network folders and devices. Dedicated or “best of breed” information management solutions abound, adding to the complexity because of their limitations, instead of alleviating it on an organization-wide scale. The ability to effectively manage and harness business-critical information at any time and from anywhere—using a single, centralized system—is essential not only to day-to-day operations, but also for long-term growth and small business success.

Simply put, empowering employees to quickly and easily locate the exact content they need, regardless of which business application it resides in, leads to better decisions, faster results and improved collaboration. When small businesses can ensure that the right content is in the right hands at the right time, they can focus on using information to drive growth, value and innovation.

Small businesses have more agility to respond to changes in the market, but doing so effectively requires fast employee access to business information, along with the ability to automate manual business processes.

While dedicated or “best of breed” solutions can address this challenge department by department, they are limited in scope. Only EIM has the capacity to provide a single, centralized solution that serves as a cross-departmental workhorse that benefits the entire organization.

EIM supports the information management and expedited workflow automation needs that are critical to ensuring quality and consistent levels of service as the company grows. With the ability to organize, search and manage the vast universe of business information, businesses can streamline workflows and create efficiencies across accounting, HR, legal, and customer service teams, improving the speed at which business is conducted, as well as the end customer’s experience.

Unauthorized File Sharing

                                                                       

A major threat to Companies

M-Files surveyed hundreds of professionals and found that many employees use personal file sharing and sync solutions for storing and sharing confidential company information.

Alarmingly only 30% of companies have policies in place that prohibit personal file sharing reducing the risk of data loss and non compliance.

To find out more about the risks of personal file sharing click below to download the Infographic.

Download the infographic here

 

Are your documents secure?

One of the primary reasons that companies chose to implement electronic document management systems is security. Paper is hard to secure, and by converting paper documents to digital files it is easier to control and track file access. Using electronic documents not only facilitates workflow but it makes documents more safe and secure.

Many businesses seek document scanning services to improve the overall security of their information. Wouldn’t it be easier and safer if you only had to manage a few discs instead of dozens of filing cabinets and hundreds of physical documents?

One questions many people have about this transition is whether or not it’s safe. So, is there a security risk when moving and storing documents to digital storage? When the right measures are taken and you work with experienced professionals to move everything over, your document security increases exponentially.

Digital security has to be thorough to be truly effective, but it’s actually much more feasible to maintain complete security with digitized documents than with hard copies. When you’re getting your secure digital database up and running, Melken Solutions can help by providing fast, secure, and reliable document scanning services.

Document Scanning Benefits

Melken Solution Scanning and Digitization Services

Store Information Electronically

Information that’s stored electronically after it’s been digitally scanned into the database can be password protected and encrypted, protecting it from prying eyes. These documents can also be accessed with ease from a central location with a click of the mouse. Employees no longer have to go searching through countless piles of paper or drive to off-site locations.

Increase Office Efficiency

Once a document scanning process has been implemented, there will be a noticeable increase in office efficiency. Employees won’t have to deal with a complex filing and recording system. Businesses can benefit greatly from implementing a digital scanning process. Savings from reduced storage, combined with increased employee efficiency, will help increase your company’s profit.

Never Lose a Record or Document Again

Many businesses have piles and piles of paperwork sitting in various cubicles and office spaces.  No one can find anything. This lack of organization is harmful to your business.

Records and documents often get lost in situations like this, and with no electronic image of the original document, you have no proof of what was on that piece of paper. Whether it was an employee file, an invoice or a client billing statement, businesses that find themselves in this type of situation often lose a significant amount of money. Document scanning takes away these issues altogether. When you scan a document into an electronic database, you never have to worry about losing it again.

Document Storage Costs are Lowered

Storing paper records can cost thousands of dollars per month, depending on how much space you need. These types of costs significantly cut into a company’s bottom line and take precious funds away that could be used for a more productive purpose. When you partner with a company that specializes in digital scanning, you can almost eliminate storage costs. You will no longer need off-site storage space to house old documents or to pay a clerk to supervise a long and drawn out filing process. The trade-off is the expense involved in outsourcing conversion to digital documents.

Why does 508 Compliance matter to me?

In 1998, Congress amended the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 to require Federal agencies to make their electronic and information technology (EIT) accessible to people with disabilities. The law (29 U.S.C. § 794 (d)) applies to all Federal agencies when they develop, procure, maintain, or use electronic and information technology. Under Section 508, agencies must give disabled employees and members of the public access to information that is comparable to access available to others.

Since June 2001 the law has required all content created using federal money to be 508 compliant. This includes government hosted or contractor hosted websites and intranet sites. This also includes content hosted by third-party services like YouTube.

The above statement is very important for government contractors. Because, under Section 508, federal contractors must provide disabled employees access to technology comparable to the access available to non-disabled persons. The purpose is ensuring full access and encouraging diversity in the workforce by removing barriers to otherwise gainfully employable individuals.

If you are doing business with or selling to the government, be sure that you meet the accessibility requirements under Section 508. The questions for contractors who wish to continue to sell EIT products or services to the Federal government are: (1) how to apply the standards; and (2) whether, and in what form, to “certify” to the agency that its products or services are Section 508 compliant.

Section 508 is a reality governing all Federal agency contracts. EIT products and services that do not meet compliance standards or come under an applicable exception can no longer be purchased by Federal agencies. Companies are already seeking to capitalize on the regulation, looking to unseat established competitors who do not comply with Section 508 standards.

The Bottom Line is, if your company’s sales of EIT products and services rely on the Federal marketplace, Section 508 compliance is an absolute imperative for continued business success. Making PDFs accessible (508 compliant) requires a thorough knowledge of (1) specific accessibility laws, (2) the ever-changing standards; and (3) specialized tools. Seek the help of a company that has specialized experience in 508 Compliance remediation.

Contact Melken Solutions for a free consultation on how to meet the standards.

 

Enterprise Information Management

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Enterprise Information Management

Employees waste time each day looking for documents and information. What if you could access anything at any time, instantly? Learn how M-Files manages every thing in your business.

No more folders

Network folder hierarchies are chaotic, making choosing where to store something difficult, let alone finding it again. M-Files manages documents by their properties instead of folders.

It’s easy

Integrate with Windows and apps without changing how you work.

Share it

Manage content with automated workflows and co-editing, even in the cloud.

It’s secure

Control access based on each file’s properties and each user’s role.

It’s mobile

View, create, edit and store documents anywhere. Even while you’re offline.

 

LEARN MORE

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